Sunday 20, May

Blossoms on the essence of cool

Blossoms' first album debuted at number one and earned them a Mercury Prize nomination - but they never let it go to their heads.

Tom: Alex Turner. Liam Gallagher.

Joe: Noel Gallagher. Paul Weller.

Tom: Those are a solid four. And what they all have in common is they walk really slow. They have a powerful walk. They walk slower than your average.

Have they been supportive of the Blossoms?

Tom: Yeah, definitely. Everyone is just sound. We don't stay in touch and become best mates or 'owt like that. They'll give you a bit of advice, then you have a beer and go and do your own thing. You realise they're just normal people.

Who's left you starstruck?

Joe: My first ever gig with Tom was Oasis, so Noel and Liam are on a pedestal up here. So even when you meet 'em and they're like normal people, in your head they'll always be "Noel and Liam Gallagher". Even now, we're going on tour with Noel and even if we just walk past him in the corridor, I get butterflies. I don't think that'll ever go away.

And Alex Turner - there's no way Alex Turner is a normal human. He's like an alien. Everything he does is perfect. That's why I can never put them people down as normal people. They can't be, can they? They're freaks of nature and amazing.

You made this album indecently quickly. Was there a massive burst of inspiration?

Tom: Kind of. The first album is like a greatest hits of your last five years, whereas the writing process on this was probably a year.

I just kept writing after the first album was finished. So Getaway [from the Blossoms' debut] was written in November 2015; and There's A Reason Why I Never Returned Your Calls, the opening track on this album, was written in January 2016.

It feels like you really concentrated on melody this time around.

Tom: I'm always trying to write a big chorus. Every single time. The melodies are very, very carefully planned out. A lot of the time, the song opens with the chorus played as a keyboard riff - so then it's in your head and when it gets to the chorus, you're like, "Oh wow, there's that melody".

The album feels designed for festivals - was that something you were aiming for?

Tom: We definitely wanted this album to be more upbeat for the live show. With the first album, everyone still jumps up and down and stuff, but there's a few more mid-paced tracks. If you're a support act, you've just got to get people's attention straight away, haven't you? So on this album, we'd always make the songs a little bit faster than I demo-ed them. Not to the point where it was like fast forward, but just where it had an extra spring in its step.

Joe: You're too chilled, that's the problem.

What were you listening to for inspiration?

Tom: We were listening to a lot of synth-pop stuff from the 80s and I got a couple of new keyboards, like the ones they used on the Stranger Things soundtrack. A lot of the time, if you get a new bit of kit, it'll inspire you to get into a new area sonically.

Don't those ancient synths take up a whole room?

Tom: These were like modern versions, 'cos a lot of them old ones from the 80s, you have to put floppy discs into them and they don't work any more.

On Unfaithful, you sing "April is the cruellest month" - but you're releasing the album in April.

Tom: I've never even associated them together. It's funny, that.

What's that lyric about, then?

Tom: Isn't it a TS Eliot quote? I think it is [He's right, it's the opening line of The Waste Land].

I have this quote book at home which I sometimes get inspiration from. I'll just scan it and things'll jump out at me.

I read an interview where you said your favourite book was the Collins Dictionary of Quotations. I thought it was a joke!

Tom: No, that's where I got "The stately homes of England how beautiful they stand" [on Blown Rose].

Joe: Listen to Morrissey mark two, here!

Tom: He used to do it all the time, though, Morrissey did. There's a thing online called Passions Just Like Mine, which is a blog where someone's tracked down where he's got everything from. Morrissey stole everything. Not everything. Don't put that in!

Joe: If I wrote a song, all my quotes would be from [primary school phonics book] Fuzzbuzz, wouldn't they?

Your first album went gold, you played the Pyramid stage, and got a Mercury nomination. What's left on the bucket list?

Joe: A pizza shop in Manchester

Tom: Called Charlie's.

What toppings will you have?

Tom: It's just going to be three toppings, and one's a margherita.

Joe: Which in New York they call 'plain pie'.

Tom: Then pepperoni, and you've got to have a veggie option.

Joe: There should be five toppings because there's five of us in the band - Margherita, Pepperoni, Veggie, Spicy and another veggie one.

Do you want to get bigger with this album... play larger venues, win more awards?

Tom: Obviously, you want it to go well. That's why you're in a band. So we want to eclipse all them things you've just said - or at least equal them.

Joe: But if we don't do it, I don't think we'll be really gutted about it.

Tom: I will.

Joe: Tom's quite pessimistic. If it rains, he thinks no-one's going to come to the gigs, even if we've sold 8,000 tickets and it's indoors.

Blossoms release Cool Like You this Friday, 27 April.

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